2021 Vault Rankings
At a Glance
“There are high expectations, but also a general respect for associates' work/life balance.”
“Ups and downs of workflow occasionally going from very slow to stressfully busy.”
“Not very transparent decision-making for firm matters.”
About Sullivan & Worcester LLP
Sullivan & Worcester advises clients ranging from Fortune 500 companies to emerging businesses. With more than 175 lawyers in Boston, London, New York, Tel Aviv, and Washington, DC, the firm offers services in a wide range of areas, including corporate finance, banking, trade finance, securities and mutual funds, litigation, mergers and acquisitions, intellectual property, tax, real estate and REITs, private equity and venture capital, bankruptcy, regulatory law, and employment and benefits. Many of the firm’s client relationships span more than 30 years across multiple generations.
From Israeli Tech to Blockchain Energy
Sullivan was founded in Boston in 1941 by two well-respected legal minds, Judge Sullivan and John Worcester (pronounced Wooster). The firm has three additional outposts: one in New York, which was opened in 1983 to better serve banking, real estate, and corporate finance clients; another in Washington, DC, where the firm's environmental & natural resources and mutual funds groups are anchored; and an office in London which opened in 2013 and focuses on trade finance. In 2001, the firm entered into a rare joint venture with Israeli law firm Zysman Aharoni Gayer & Co. to take advantage of legal opportunities presented by Israel's high-tech boom.
Over the last decade, Sullivan has been involved in high-stakes litigation, including cases related to the Bernie Madoff investment scandal. Recognized for its work in the growing area of fintech & blockchain, the firm represents more than 100 blockchain clients (and, notably, partner Joel Telpner was named one of the Top 10 Fintech attorneys in America by Chambers and Partners). The firm has also helped facilitate a significant amount of international investment work for business interests in Ireland, the UK, China, Canada, India, and Italy interested in putting some of their green to work in the U.S. market. Sullivan's work closer to home has turned heads as well—the firm houses one of the largest tax departments in New England. By equity market capitalization, the firm represents approximately 12 percent of the public REIT market.
Pro Bono Pros
Sullivan has also made its mark on its community. More than 40 years ago, the firm helped to create a nonprofit called College Bound Dorchester, Inc., which offers students the support they need to pursue college. The firm continues to help the organization, offering counsel on a range of areas including tax, litigation, real estate, general corporate, financing, and employment and benefits. For decades, the firm has provided legal assistance to the Neighborhood House Charter School (NHCS)—which is located in the Charles C. Cabot, Jr. Building, named for a late partner of the firm—and its related foundation. Sullivan lawyers also have dedicated pro bono hours to the Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders (“GLAD”), a legal rights organization in New England that is committed to ending discrimination based on sexual orientation, HIV status, and gender identity and expression. The firm served as tax counsel for GLAD in its filing of the first concerted, multi-plaintiff legal challenge to Section 3 of the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). Recently, the firm began representing DIFFvelopment, a New Jersey-based nonprofit organization that prepares black college students for life after college by educating them about the socioeconomic issues that commonly impact black graduates and exposing them to entrepreneurship as a viable career.
Why Work Here
Sullivan attorneys work hard; there's no getting around it. But we also recognize that the people who work here are multi-dimensional individuals, each with civic, family and personal obligations. We do our best to create a balanced work environment, and offer both family leave time and part-time schedules. We enjoy the company of our colleagues and their families, and host several social events throughout the year. Because in addition to being excellent lawyers, we know a thing or two about having fun. You'll see our lawyers running marathons, starring in local theatre productions, organizing charity events, participating in weekend cycling, leading girl scout groups, coaching sports teams, scuba diving, sailing boats, and organizing college alumni groups.
We have resisted the trend among major law firms to require immediate specialization by new associates. Instead, first-year associates at Sullivan participate in a rotation program – exposing our associates to a broad range of disciplines, specialty areas and training. First-year associates spend 2 to 3 months in each of our major Departments – Corporate, Litigation, Real Estate and Tax. This allows our first-year associates the opportunity to gain exposure to our different practice areas within these Departments, and work with associates and partners throughout our firm. The goal of the rotation program is to enrich and expose our associates to different areas of legal discipline and clients, developing them into well-rounded and highly-skilled lawyers.
One Post Office Square
Boston, MA 02109
Phone: (617) 338-2800
Chairman and Managing Partner: Joel R. Carpenter
Recruiting Chair: Amy E. Sheridan
Total No. Attorneys 2020:
150 - 250
1st year: $170,000
2nd year: $180,000
Summer Associate: $3,270/week
Director of Legal Recruiting
No. of U.S. Offices: 3
No. of International Offices: 2
Boston, MA (HQ)
New York, NY
Art & Museum Law
Bankruptcy & Restructuring
Corporate Governance & Board Advisory
Employment & Benefits
Environment & Natural Resources
Fintech & Blockchain
Mergers & Acquisitions
Trade & Export Finance
Trusts & Estates
*See firm website for complete list of practice areas and industries.